When iron sharpens iron ‘Sparxx Gotta Fly’
I have been lucky enough to get to know Pacaso over the past several months and he is one guy in CHH that not nearly enough people perhaps know about. Him and the team at Blood Related Entertainment have been working hard for the culture for a while.
‘Sparxx Gotta Fly’ is dropping on August 14, 2019 which also happens to be Pacaso’s birthday. Make sure we make it a special day for the brother by streaming the new project – after all, it will be free to us. Call it a gift from the birthday boy.
[Intro] Sparxx Gotta Fly – Cruising on a warm summer night. That is the feeling you get as the synth welcomes you to ‘Sparxx Gotta Fly’. As Pacaso states, this is his opening statement and the message is clear: Christ, Family, and Hip Hop.
Tell Me Where I’d Go – The lead single from the project is up next. Solid low ends and a sample with a classic feel blend perfectly with Ramirez’ flow. If you came up on the west coast g-funk of 90s, then you are going to connect with this track. Not to say that it is dated, but it embodies the spirit of the sound that birthed so many hip hop fans. “What’s the purpose, to be the next household name?/ the little kids with songs, something like crack cocaine/ it’s kind of not my thing, not here for entertainment/ I’m kinda Charles Spurgeon, preaching on Revelation”
All I’ve Ever Known – Pacaso’s verses on “All I’ve Ever Known” is the best part of the track. I’m not a big fan of the production on this one and the hook is just overwhelming (when it comes to the production).
Free Slaves ft. EmtyHipHop – Okay, the production makes up for the previous track here. Check out those hits, man they crack. Gotta love the bass line as well! One criticism here is that the vocal seems to be battling the production level on the hook. If the track level was brought down a bit you would have a very solid song. I love the topic and Pacaso brings the bars.
Break Ground ft. Eturniti – “There’s only two choices, be inspired or brought down” This is another great example of the lyrical ability that Ramirez has developed over the years. The vocal mix may be the best I’ve heard on the project so far. I like the adlibs that Eturniti brings to the track, but the “bridge” was the weakest part for me.
Silly Drunk ft. Jerrell Golden – The storm gives way to a piano that is joined by melodic vocals that have me thinking about Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. A minute and a half in and this may just be my favorite track on ‘Sparxx Gotta Fly’ to this point. Jerrell Golden killed his feature here. I definitely need to check out more of Golden. The production is on point and Pacaso and Jerrell do their thing. This is a track you do not want to miss!
False Lights (Spyhunter Mix) ft. Mr. Marshall – The funky bass line is a definite contrast from “Silly Drunk”, but at the same time it feels like we are hitting the heart of the project. With a twangy guitar sample, sharp hats, and a classic delivery “False Lights” is another strong offering. Pacaso takes on Satan’s point of view on the track as he celebrates an ability to confuse and lead humans astray. It is a warning to ignore the flashy and keep focused on the cause of Christ.
He Made Me a King ft. Big Glenn – Okay, so off the jump, I’m not a fan of this bass line. There is simply too much buzz for my liking. Also, the balance of the mix overall seems off to me. It’s almost like everything is too hot and fighting for space. However, the verses are still solid. The inconsistency of the mix though makes this a track that I will probably not go back to.
Hope Not – “Hope Not” is a welcomed track after “He Made Me a King”. The production/mix is much better here and settles the album back in. “Cause what you struggle with is punching back/ no matter how you guard yourself, the feeling’s like a punching bag”
In Your Eyes ft. Ray Silver – “In Your Eyes” has a very interesting sound compared to what we have heard to this point. It is more stripped down and open in the sound. Pacaso delivers a message of being able to overcome obstacles because of Jesus. Ray Silver provides vocals that really accent the track.
Little Bit of Truth – We have hit song 11 on ‘Sparxx Gotta Fly’ and what we are met with is the prototypical “album track”. It’s neither great nor poor. “Little Bit of Truth” is one of those songs that, if it comes on, you’ll listen to it but it probably isn’t going to stick with you.
Transparent ft. Ray Silver – Ramirez is once again joined by Ray Silver on “Transparent” that opens with a piano that makes me think of “Changes” by Pac. Honestly, as I’m listening, I feel like it has a similar spirit as Pacaso is bringing a message to the masses. “This ain’t the same ol’ life sucks, life’s hard/ we on that same walk, hardship boulevard/ but what you’re going through, it don’t define you/ it’s how you handle it, integrity or idol”
Golgotha – I really like how the lead-in grabs your attention on this one. Pacaso takes us to the “place of the skull” and it is a fun trip. I feel the energy as the challenge is given for believers of Christ to take the message out to the world. This has certainly jumped on to my list of favorites from the album.
We Can All Use a Hero – What I love about Pacaso is that he has this ability to pick some really great production. That is the case with “We Can All Use a Hero”. The bass line, the samples, the mix – everything is working on this one. “We can all use a hero, some of us are broken in our characters/ we’re so confused, while we’re living in America” Pacaso is really taking stock of the current situation we find ourselves in because we have looked to the wrong people to save us.
Light the Fire ft. Mr. Marshall & Mark Collins – Overall, “Light the Fire” is a solid track. Again we have a mix, specifically on the hook, that is running a little too hot for me to truly enjoy it. But the verses from Pacaso, Blood Related leader Mr. Marshall, and Mark Collins are executed well.
I Think I Wanna Die – The energy is brought down as we head into the final three songs on the track. An already transparent artist, Pacaso really puts himself out there on this one. He is tackling a feeling that is familiar to a lot of us. No longer wanting to be a part of this world, a feeling that conflicts with religious beliefs. How do we process this turmoil?
No Words Explain – I love how Pacaso isn’t afraid to use sounds that are not commonplace in our space. Here we have live instrumentation including a really nice electric guitar. “No Words Explain” is almost a continuation of “I Think I Wanna Die” as the sin nature is still be wrestled with. The hook is a bit long here, but still enjoyable. “Going through the same old thoughts again/ banging on them same old pots and pans/ still trying to pass all kinds of blame/ what am I to say, I find it kind of strange, but this is everyday”
Heaven or Bust – Our finale stays on the mellow vibe of the previous two tracks. Where “I Think I Wanna Die” and “No Words Explain” discussed Pacaso’s struggles caused by the enemy, on “Heaven or Bust” he is working through the aspects of the faith that can be difficult for some. We were never promised an easy journey, just the strength to make it.
My favorite tracks:
1. Silly Drunk
3. Tell Me Where I’d Go
4. False Lights
5. In Your Eyes
Don’t forget, ‘Sparxx Gotta Fly’ drops August 14! Take a listen and let us know what you think of the project.